Thursday, November 1, 2018

hanging up my dental loupes

How is it not Friday yet? 
Clinic this week has involved an emergency root canal, all the restorations, extractions, dentures, too much SRP for my liking, and treating kiddos. 
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love having the opportunity to be with patients, but I'm exhausted. I've done more dental procedures and earned more points this week than I ever have at the dental school. Roll in a daily 2 and half hour commute, plus responsibilities at home, and ya girl is tired. The most stressful part of the week was starting my Monday with an emergency root canal. I was covering the emergency shift that day, so you just never know what might come through the door. IF I had known about this ahead of time, it's the kind of thing that I would have studied and prepared intensely for. Yes, I know how to do root canals, but I had only actually done one on a real live patient and that was under the close supervision of an endodontist---a dentist who specializes in root canals. Also, that was months ago. So yea, I may have had a moment of panic when I realized I needed to get one started right then and there. And I needed to do it in an hour because there were more emergency patients waiting to be seen. I'm still learning and not so confident yet that I would think nothing of doing a complex procedure like this. But you always know more than you realize and it will come back to you when you need it. I couldn't get the patient fully numb no matter what I tried because the infection was so intense. I did get enough anesthesia that I could drill on the tooth without them feeling any pain, but oddly enough, if I touched the tooth with my finger-that hurt. I have a very light hand when I drill so I was applying less pressure with the hand piece that I was with my finger. Go figure. Thankfully, I made my drill hole in just the right spot and was within the pulp chamber almost immediately. The moment I pulled out the pulp, which is thee nerve of the tooth, the patient breathed a sigh of relief and announced that the pain stopped. Thank goodness. I cleaned it out a bit, placed some medicine, and sealed it up temporarily to finish at a later date. So yea, that was my first patient of the week and it's been just as crazy since. I'm definitely ready to take off my gown, ditch my mask, and hang up my dental loupes for the week. 

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